Planetary Cycles - 2
Actually it seems that the most significant over-all period, if we consider the general evolution of human civilization, is the 10,000 year period, which is a little over 40 cycles of Pluto, 60 cycles of Neptune and over 120 cycles of Uranus. Again these are "archetypal" measures, for various factors enter into the picture, and if we think of such periods in relation to a planet's zodiacal position the question of whether we speak of the sidereal or the tropical zodiac cannot be avoided. What we are trying to ascertain when using these large cycles is not exact dates at which some spectacular events occur, but the rhythm and the structural patterns of evolutionary processes with regard to our planet, Earth. We are thinking as "generalists" not as technicians-specialists. We are trying to understand even more than to "know"; and there is a kind of knowledge — very much favored today — which runs counter to understanding. One must know certain basic principles in order to understand; but the quality and the intent of so much of our modern scientific knowledge precludes a deep, general understanding of what is known, because the knowledge is tendencious and hypnotized by technological considerations and by the demand that it should be immediately applicable, socially productive and remunerative to those who finance the research. This quite definitely applies to some recent attempts made to "prove scientifically" the validity of astrology.
The 10,000 year cycle was mentioned at the close of my book, The Astrology of Personality (page 526, 1936 edition) and it was pointed out that, according to the Teachers of H. P. Blavatsky, it refers to the periodical manifestation — in and through a particular human personage — of the Buddha-Principle; that is, of what one might call the Universal Mind. One can think of such manifestations as the focusing upon our planet of the cosmic Principle of Wholeness that sustains and integrates the immense rhythms of the galaxy in which our solar system operates as a small and not too central unit. The significant fact, however, is that such a 10,000 year cycle seems to be related to evolutionary and historical turning points of great importance, and that it makes of the very last years of the 19th century one of these crucial turning points.
The most definite date related to this cycle is the date which marked, in the great tradition of India, the beginning of the Kali Yuga (the Greek Iron Age) — a long dark period, but also the period during which what one should call the "gestation process" of a new and infinitely more spiritually conscious humanity is taking place; Kali refers to the mother-principle. The date is 3102 BC Around 1898 AD the first five thousand years of Kali Yuga ended. Ten thousand years before this recent date brings us to 8102 BC which, according to the old Egyptian tradition was the time of the sinking of the last great island in the Atlantic Ocean which once had been part of the fabled continent of Atlantis.
If this were a correct hypothesis, we might say that this final disappearance of the "Atlanteans" marked the beginning, or just preceded the beginning, of a new wave of civilization, a new 10,000 year cycle. The diagram which follows shows how such a cycle could be divided. The 3102 BC beginning of the Kali Yuga would be the polarizing point of the cycle — the "result" of what had begun 5000 years before. The quartering of the cycle into four 2500 year periods produces most significant dates. 5602 BC would probably refer to the earliest Persian civilization and to the Cretan-Hellenic culture which reached its apex in Greece in 602 BC During the sixth century BC Gautama the Buddha and other great spiritual Teachers lived, who sowed the seed for a deep-seated transformation of the Mind of humanity, a transformation which reached a "critical state" around 1900 AD with the discovery of radio-activity and the start of the Electronic (or Atomic) Age.
Dividing the 10,000 year cycle into twelve sub-periods gives also significant spans, relating to important changes in human civilization, particularly the periods following 231 AD (the rise of "the Barbarians") and 1064 AD (the Crusades); both dates mark the decisive starts of processes that altered the character of "Western" civilization. We shall see in the next chapters how these periods dovetail in with other cycles and sub-cycles produced by considering not only the nearly 500-year long Neptune-Pluto conjunction-cycle, but the nearly 26,000 year long cycle of the precession of the equinoxes, with its twelve component "Ages."
That the 10,000 year cycle contains 40 periods of Pluto and 60 periods of Neptune is a fact that will interest anyone acquainted with the traditional significance of the numbers 40 and 60. The number 40 refers to the 40 weeks of pregnancy, and it has been associated with periods of incubation, of spiritual preparation and/or of tests (40 years of wandering in the desert by the group led by Moses; the 40 years of imprisonment in Akka — meaning "womb" — of Abdul Baha, son of the great Bahai Prophet, Baha'u'llah; the 40 days of Lent; and also the yearly 40 days of hibernation of the bear, spoken of in alchemical texts — the bear symbolizing a form of cosmic power, and of course most important extra-zodiacal constellations.) As Pluto represents, in its deepest meaning, the process of formation of a new, higher and more permanent entity within an earth-born organism — i.e. its "seed" — the connection between this planet and the number 40 is significant. I might even add, for numerologically oriented readers, that Pluto's discovery was announced in 1930. Adding the digits of that year gives us 13, which reduces to 4 — plus a zero; thus 40.
Marc Edmund Jones wrote (in his course Symbolical Astrology) that "The number 60 is the Babylonian or Solar Mysteries solvent of all problems"; and the planet Neptune is also in its deepest meaning the Universal Solvent of all that is in bondage to particular forms and egocentric structures. The number 60 refers also to the period measured by three conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn after which the two planets return to their starting point (with a few degrees of difference) in the zodiac; and it was this Jupiter-Saturn cycle which was most prominently used in ancient "mundane astrology" related to social processes, affairs of State, etc.
Today the concept of closely knit social-political organization within definite boundaries is being superseded — in terms of our recent attempts at some kind of federal world organization open to all men, national groups and races by a Neptunian all-embracing ideal. Neptune is also the symbol of compassion, of the Mystic Body of Christ. It refers to the "living Water" which surrounds and protects the embryonic growth of the New Humanity that is to be. The 60 periods of Neptune represent thus a basic phase in the unfoldment of this ideal condition of mankind — the still far distant true "Millenium" which is more likely to refer to a hundred thousand years (or more) than to a mere thousand years.
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1969 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
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